The « Hatten » rooms

From January 9 thru' 21, 1945, Hatten and the neighboring community of Rittershoffen were the site of one of the fiercest tank battles in France which resulted in 85% destruction and 114 civilian casualties (83 in Hatten and 31 in Rittershoffen).

Two rooms located in the heart of the bunker pay tribute to the victims. Numerous original photographs and testimonies from the participants describe the plight of the civilians trapped in the vicious fighting.

The battle of Hatten-Rittershoffen was part of Operation Nordwind, Hitler's last offensive on the western front. The Führer had several objectives in mind: the primary aim was the elimination and destruction of US Seventh Army in northern Alsace. Besides, the Allies would be tied in Alsace and therefore would not be transferred to the battle of the Bulge, which seemed doomed to failure.

A third room depicts the evacuation of the people of Hatten: their hasty departure from the village in September 1939, their difficult lives as refugees in Chateauponsac (Haute-Vienne) and their return during the summer of 1940. Near the "Abri", the Memorial Woods is a quiet place dedicated to the innocent civilian victims of the conflict.

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